So, first you moved to Hollywood.
Next, you found your apartment and you rented a car.
You got yourself into an acting class.
You took some head shots that you feel pretty good about.
You reached out to some agents and one responded!
“Send me your materials.”
You already sent your headshot, your resume, and your super quippy cover letter.
What more do they want?
THEY WANT TO SEE YOUR REEL.
The panic sets in.
You have a bunch of scenes from some student films, shorts, and a web series; but you’re not sure how to assemble it all.
Three Tips Toward A Great Actor Reel:
#1: Your Reel Does Not Need To Be More Than 30 Seconds
Grab your absolute best stuff and let the rest go. Your reel should feel more like a “tease” than a full presentation of everything you do.
#2: Don’t Try To Tell A Story
Scenes on your reel don’t need to be “set up.” The Casting Director doesn’t need to see the other character walk into the scene so that it “makes sense.” The Casting Director just wants to see YOU.
#3: Close-Ups Are Key
Your reel should be about 90% close-ups of YOU. The person viewing your reel is doing so because they are interested in YOU. They want to see YOU acting on camera. The goal is to make this as accessible as possible.
As actors, we tend to make the reel process more complicated than it needs to be.
Keep it simple, simple, simple.